Interventions for ulceration and other skin changes caused by nerve damage in leprosy

Added November 4, 2019

Read the full review here

No firm conclusions can be drawn about the effects of treatments (e.g. education, self‐care, dressings, skin care, or footwear) designed to prevent or treat skin damage in people with leprosy and those with potential damage to peripheral nerves.

Leprosy (Hansen’s disease) is a long‐lasting, infectious global disease, which may lead to complications like injuries and development of wounds (ulcers), particularly on the feet. Long‐term nerve and muscle damage impacts on a person’s quality of life, leading to mental and financial difficulties. Late diagnosis is the greatest cause of disability, so the key to effective management is early diagnosis and treatment, and early recognition and management of nerve damage, combined with effective health education to prevent limb damage. This review aimed to address uncertainties regarding the best way to prevent and treat skin damage.

The evidence was judged as very low certainty, meaning the results are ambiguous. There were concerns regarding how participants were allocated to treatments, whether participants and study investigators knew which treatment had been received, and the number of participants who dropped out of the studies. Fourteen studies were included but almost all have different treatments with different comparisons.